Some jazzy facts about brass instruments

Jazz instruments have been around for many years; being played in the military bands, religious ceremonies, jazz performances, or developing music in general. Here are some interesting facts about brass instruments.

They have a universal appeal

Jazz instruments have been an important part of all the traditional and contemporary music forms around the world. Be it the Balkan folk music, marching bands of America, New Orleans Jazz bands to the traditional symphonies of Europe.

Jazz trumpeter ran for the President post

Renowned Jazz Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie in 1964 ran for the American Presidential post. While forwarding his candidature for the highest post, he famously quoted that if he is elected the President, he will rename the ‘White House’ the ‘Blue House’.

 The trombone was called a Sackbut in the Renaissance age

The ancestor of the modern-day trombone, sackbut of the Renaissance times used to be slightly different in terms of size and shape. In fact, this weirdly sounding word is made from French words, ‘saquer’ meaning ‘to draw’ and ‘bouter’ which is ‘to shove’.

 Metal trumpets can be recorded back to 1500 BC

In the ancient Egyptian tombs and graves, silver and bronze trumpets were discovered by the archaeologists. But the use of these early trumpets was strictly for religious or military purposes and not at all for entertainment or music creation. Some others were found in Asia, Scandinavia, and South America.

But not all instruments in the brass instrument family are made of brass metal

Organic animal-based instruments such as shofars and conch shells also form part of the brass instrument family due to the sound created from lip vibration. Trumpets and trombones are mainly made from brass but can also be produced using copper or a mix of different metals.

Bunk Johnson's Brass & Dance Band 1945 was the first New Orleans Brass Band’s record

This album was released in 1945 and featured many instruments such as the eponymous Bunk on trumpet, an alto horn, bass horn, baritone horn, snare drum, and bass drum. The funny fact is that the music was so out of tune that it was difficult to understand. But it still remains the eternal traditional band to date.

Marching bands used special tuba called Sousaphone

Eminent march composer John Philip Sousa designed Sousaphone as a specialized tuba that fits around the musician to make the march easier. This was devised as the traditional tubas were difficult to play while walking.

Now we know why musicians love to alter their pitch by vibrating their lips at different speeds into the instrument’s mouthpiece.